Mendix – Building Apps…No Coding Experience Required
Imagine this scenario… you are looking to build your dream home. You detail everything out in a document and hand it over to a builder. A few months later, the builder gives you a tour of your new home, only to find out… it’s not what you wanted and it’s missing many important elements. You blame the builder because the home is out of scope. The builder blames you because your plans weren’t detailed enough or it asked for the impossible. The end result... two frustrated parties and a failed project. Back to the drawing board.
Now apply this same analogy to the IT industry. Many application development projects fail because of the lack of coordination between IT and the business users.
So… what if there was a platform where business users, without coding experience, could work with IT in a collaborative environment to launch applications at a much faster rate?
This is the scenario that led Derek Roos (Mendix CEO & Co-Founder), Derckjan Kruit (Mendix VP, Corporate Development & Co-Founder), and Roald Kruit to start Mendix.
Founded in 2005, Mendix has changed the game in terms of how organizations can build, launch, and iterate on applications. Its Application Platform-as-a-Service (aPaaS) helps to resolve issues by making it easier for non-technical stakeholders to view and make edits to an application while it is still in development. This makes it possible to address issues quickly, so that it meets the needs of business users.
The platform is a major benefit for developers at companies too, as they can focus on innovation and adding value back to the business, versus being stuck in the weeds of coding.
I had the opportunity to interview Pranshu Tewari, Mendix’s Chief Marketing Officer, about the company and its growth plans. He joined Mendix about a year ago, after relocating to Boston from Austin where he spent several years building Dell’s software group.
“The three most important elements for my job search were the team, tech, and market,” said Tewari. “After meeting with Roos and other members of the team, I understood the value immediately and was totally sold on the opportunity.”
Mendix moved its headquarters from the Netherlands to Boston in 2012. Today, the company has close to 300 employees worldwide and will be adding another 150 people globally this year. The local Boston office is the home for over 70 employees and the company is hiring across sales, customer success, support, and other functions. Mendix has raised a total of $38M in venture capital funding with Battery Ventures leading its last round of financing.
Despite offering a truly groundbreaking platform and working with a wide range of enterprises from Fortune 100 companies to emerging startups, Mendix has remained relatively low-key throughout the Boston tech scene. “We were ahead of the market and we were like a startup when Roos originally opened our offices in Boston,” says Tewari.
The industry is catching up with this sector, as Gartner recently created a new technology segment called hpaPaaS (High Productivity Application Platform as a Service) where Mendix was recognized as a Leader with the strongest overall vision in the magic quadrant.
Mendix is able to separate itself from competitors by taking a horizontal approach to development. Its platform can be used for building all types of applications, whether it is web, mobile, or any other version, like wearable devices and IoT. Most of the other solutions in this area seem to be focused on helping companies build applications for one particular category, like mobile, as an example.
“During the sales process, we identify a problem area for the prospect,” says Tewari. “We are able to demonstrate our value by quickly building out a proof of concept in one day.”
Another factor relating to the success of Mendix is the company’s culture, which is open and collaborative. For example, every employee attends the company’s annual kick-off meeting each January, in the Netherlands. As part of the meeting, Mendix’s Board of Directors take the stage for a wide open Q&A where all questions are welcomed and answered.
Based on their continued growth and the growing awareness of the company’s category, one has to believe that it’s only a matter of time before Mendix is recognized as another anchor tech company in the Boston tech scene.